Academic Mpofu-walsh unpacks new apartheid
‘It did not die, it was privatised’
Dr Sizwe Mpofu-walsh is no stranger to fame as the son of well-known legal eagle and politician advocate Dali Mpofu. The 32-year-old, who holds a doctorate in international relations from the University of Oxford, released his latest book, The New Apartheid this week. He is also the author of Democracy and Delusion: 10 Myths in South African Politics, which he published in 2017.
Speaking to Sunday World this week about his second book, The New Apartheid, Mpofu-walsh said it pursues the idea that apartheid did not die, it was privatised.
“I don’t think we have properly defined the problem that confronts South Africa. It’s deeper than poverty, unemployment or inequality. All these are symptoms of a deeper malaise. First, we need to define the problem that faces this generation. And I define that problem as the new apartheid.”
“Apartheid continues to persist in South Africa in many guises, despite our democratic order.”
Mpofu-walsh, who has been married to Sumaya Hendricks for nine years, said he wants young South Africans who are disappointed with the current situation to read his book, as well as those who believe we need to take drastic steps to remake our country.
The postdoctoral fellow at Wits, who spends a lot of time on academic research, said when writing The New Apartheid, he had to get into the minds of apartheid’s planners and ideologues.
“So, I had to read books written by people like NJ Rhoodie and HJ Venter about the need for apartheid. Those books were difficult to read for emotional reasons. I felt something similar when I had to read FW de Klerk’s autobiography.”
Mpofu-walsh is multi-talented with a love for music. Along with his debut book, he also released an album of the same title. “I love producing music.”
Speaking about marriage and the secret to a happy union, Mpofu-walsh said: “I don’t know if there’s one secret. But any union between two people requires mutual kindness. First, be kind. Then find a partner who is kind. Each person in the union needs kindness from the other at different moments.”